August 8, 2018

Review: The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland

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First of all, I would like to apologize for my hiatus. I’ve been a busy girl! And while I’ve been doing more reading than normal, it’s been all over the place and also involved academic reading. (Booo-ring. Kinda.) And also the reading of story apps. I know, I know, but it’s my guilty pleasure. More on that later!

Anyway, on to my most recent read. I just finished up The Day the World Came to Town by Jim DeFede. This nonfiction novel tells the story of Gander, Newfoundland. The surrounding towns welcomed in so many people after September 11th when U.S. airspace was closed. This was chosen by Bridget for my book club! She chose The Day the World Came to Town largely because of her love for musicals. If you didn’t know, the story of Gander inspired the musical Come from Away.


I really enjoyed this story. While I didn’t connect with every “character”, it was heartwarming and interesting to read about the sense of brotherhood all humans experience during a crisis. It was especially interesting to read a 9/11 story that focused more on happiness and shared experiences than tragedy. Of course, September 11, 2001, was a day of tragedy in the United States and for many all around the world. But those same tragic events also created opportunities for people to connect in places like Gander.


Overall, this was a 5 star book for me. I would have loved an epilogue or second edition with information on where the “characters” are now, or at least in more recent times. However, the author pushed this book out less than a year after the events that took place. He did a great job telling so many rich, detailed stories in a way that was simple to understand and engaging. I can’t really fault him for not including more recent information, though I hear that Come from Away does have more up-to-date stories.

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The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, NewfoundlandThe Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book, and I think it would have only been better if there was an epilogue or added update with more information on the “characters” now that time has passed. The author really pushed this one out. It was published less than a year after the events!

Overall, this is a really moving story about how one town in Newfoundland welcomed in people from all sorts of backgrounds after their planes were sent there on 9/11. There are some really memorable “characters”, including a cute dog. Though 9/11 was a tragedy, it’s beautiful to see that the people in this town were able to make some real, wholesome connections during that time.

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    • Post authorKate

      Thank you! I hope you read and enjoy it. Let me know if you do!

      Reply to Kate
  • Tasha

    I’m glad that you had a 5 star read. great review.

    Reply to Tasha
    • Post authorKate

      5 star reads are the best!

      Reply to Kate
  • DJ Sakata

    I wants it!

    Reply to DJ Sakata
    • Post authorKate

      Let me know if you end up reading it ever. 🙂

      Reply to Kate
  • Jordanne

    Sounds like an interesting read, great review!

    Reply to Jordanne
    • Post authorKate

      It really was an interesting book. Thanks!

      Reply to Kate
    • Post authorKate

      Thank you!

      Reply to Kate
  • Manon

    Great review! Sounds like a wonderful read.

    Reply to Manon
    • Post authorKate

      Thank you! 🙂

      Reply to Kate
  • Whispering Stories

    I’ve never heard of the book before, nor the town of Gander. The book is intriguing, Great review.

    Reply to Whispering Stories
    • Post authorKate

      I hadn’t before I picked this book up, either. I knew that there was a town in Canada that took people in because of the musical. However, I knew no details beyond that. This book was a very interesting and moving learning experience.

      Reply to Kate
  • Natalie

    Oooh love the look of this! Read the firefighters story who wrote about being in the tower when it collapsed…one of the best books I’ve ever read

    Reply to Natalie
    • Post authorKate

      I’d be interested in reading something like that!

      Reply to Kate
  • Heidi

    What an interesting topic to write about- after all these years!

    Reply to Heidi
    • Post authorKate

      It really was! The book itself actually was published in 2002, so I was surprised how much info the author was able to get out there that quickly.

      Reply to Kate

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